Silver and gold, stars, and the pioneer spirit of the West inspired singer Pia Toscano’s outfit at The American Rodeo.
Pia Toscano will sing "God Bless America" before the championship round of The American, and she’s been presented two looks from which to choose. No one will know what she’s wearing until she enters the arena, but Fashion and Lifestyle Director for Teton Ridge, Marcella Barrett, ensured both looks are show-stopping.
Stars were the starting point for the looks, paying homage to The American Rodeo’s logo and the venue, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
The striking rebrand of The American’s logo with silver and gold stars and stripes is a modern twist to the traditional red, white, and blue. Barrett was further inspired by Karl Lagerfeld’s 2014 Chanel fashion show in Texas, “Dallas Paris” — a Western-themed extravaganza with a chic rodeo theme, featuring a stylish, black tulle dress with metallic stars. “I began searching for the perfect star-themed evening dress,” Barrett says.
The first dress was crafted by mother-daughter duo Vatana and Sydney Watters with Willowby by Watters Designs, one of America’s largest female-owned, multi-tiered bridal wear brands. Based in Dallas, they were familiar with the inspiration and created a beautiful, champagne-hued tulle dress as a timeless interpretation of Western style.
Love Shack Fancy Dress designed the second dress. Founded by Rebecca Hassel Cohen, she has built a multi-generational lifestyle brand with a view of embracing unabashed femininity through style. Love Shack Fancy is a brand that fully commits to its whimsical vision, and the star-spangled black flowing dress they created lines up perfectly. “This dress was inspired by and for the women of Texas,” says Barrett.
Although no one knows which dress Toscano will wear until she enters the rodeo arena to sing, her styling and accessories are similar for both looks. “I felt inspired by the confidence of cowboy culture,” explains Barrett. “I imagined Pia riding to The American on her horse, with her cowboy boots and hat. Her hair is a little windswept; her cheeks are sun-kissed; she has no makeup. She dismounts her horse, changes out of her jeans and T-shirt into a gorgeous dress, but in true Texas fashion, her cowboy boots and hat remain.”
The jewelry was inspired by the craftsmanship of the West and The Crown Jewel of Rodeo’s presenting company Teton Ridge. Jesse Driego, owner of Grateful J Jewelry based in Stephenville, Texas, was commissioned to create traditional pieces with a modern twist. Driego took inspiration from the Teton Ridge logo to craft pieces in silver, gold, and natural stones with stars and bull skulls.
Toscano’s cowboy hat was created and sourced from Lavonna “Shorty” Koger from Oklahoma. Shorty will shape Toscano’s hat at The American before the singer takes center stage. Shorty has been making hats for over 30 years, and in 2021, she was inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.
And finally, Toscano’s boots were crafted by Texas native Sara Ford, founder and CEO of Ranch Road Boots. Ford is a former Marine officer and Harvard Business School graduate whose love of cowboys boots and desire for custom boots inspired her to open Ranch Road Boots in 2012. The boots Ford designed for Toscano’s American Rodeo debut are a clean and simple design based around the power of the star shape.
It's safe to say Toscano will embody the Western spirit and grit of cowboys and cowgirls everywhere. Every designer put a personal touch and their interpretation of the West’s pioneering spirit into their respective pieces.
Tune in to INSP to watch The American Rodeo on Sunday, March 6, and see Toscano’s "God Bless America" performance before the championship round. americanrodeo.com
Photography: (All Images) courtesy Teton Ridge